That Into Mischief became North America’s leading stallion for the second consecutive year is borne out by facts that carry weight, heft and meaning beyond the breeding shed.

Into Mischief-NA Top Stallion
During a decent, but unspectacular, racing career, not even his most devoted supporters saw Into Mischief enter the 2020s as North America’s top stallion. The sire of Kentucky Derby winner Authentic captured that honor for the second consecutive year in a runaway. (Image: Coyle Photography/Spendthrift Farm)

Yes, there’s the $225,000 stud fee he commands. That hasn’t stopped would-be filly and mare owners from beating a path to his Spendthrift Farm breeding shed.

What stops those without a date – at least for next year – is Into Mischief’s 2021 calendar is booked. You either have a date with him by now – or you’re waiting until 2022. Even carrying one of North America’s highest stud fees – and carrying it during the pandemic-created economic downturn – Into Mischief is in demand.

There’s the sales ring. There, Into Mischief produced 57 offspring at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, one of the top Thoroughbred sales in the United States. Those 57 progeny sold for more than $25.4 million. He produced five yearlings that sold for more than $1 million and another 23 that went for at least $500,000 each. The average price for an Into Mischief offspring at Keeneland’s September sale was $445,632.

Into Mischief’s Offspring Ran Up More Than $22 Million

And, of course, there’s the racetrack. Into Mischief’s progeny racked up $22.2 million in earnings. Not only did that surpass his 2019 previous benchmark of $18.9 million, but it was $3 million more than his 2015, 2016 and 2017 progeny earnings. Combined.

Into Mischief produced more than 400 fewer foals than second-place Tapit. Yet, Into Mischief’s offspring won 78 more races than Tapit’s – 189-111. No sire came within 35 victories of Into Mischief. Uncle Mo and Munnings tied for a distant second, with 153.

Along with that, Into Mischief sent 411 runners into starting gates this year. Of those 411, 189 found the winner’s circle. That’s a 45% win percentage – truly staggering by any measure.

Authentic, Life Is Good Could Go Back-to-Back in Derby

Boosted by Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Authentic’s $7.17 million in 2020 earnings, Into Mischief’s $22.2 million progeny earnings nearly doubled those of his closest pursuers: Tapit ($11.8 million) and Uncle Mo ($11.3 million).

North America’s Top Sires-2020

Sire Earnings Runners Wins Black-Type Graded Stakes Top Earner/Earnings
Into Mischief $22.2 million 411 189 29 12 Authentic ($7.17M)
Tapit $11.8 million 260 111 14 11 Tacitus ($1.57M)
Uncle Mo $11.3 million 308 153 22 14 Golden Pal ($593,056)
Curlin $10.7 million 278 132 15 8 Global Campaign ($1,020,600)
Speightstown $10.3 million 243 128 17 10 Mozu Superflare ($1,505,909)
Munnings $9.7 million 279 153 12 6 Warrior’s Charge ($571,000)
City Zip $7.9 million 196 111 10 4 Improbable ($1.81M)
Midnight Lute $7.7 million 151 78 5 4 Midnight Bisou ($3,721,520)
Candy Ride $7.1 million 228 107 8 5 Vekoma ($456,675)
Constitution $6.5 million 132 56 8 2 Tiz the Law ($2,388,300)

In November, Into Mischief broke Tapit’s North American progeny earnings record when Life Is Good blasted home by 9 ½ lengths in his debut at Del Mar.

Life Is Good currently sits as Circa Sports’ Kentucky Derby Futures favorite at +950. He is 10/1 at William Hill Nevada.

When the stakes got bigger, so did Into Mischief’s offspring. His 29 black-type winners bettered runner-up Uncle Mo by seven. Speightstown was a distant third, with 17.

Yes, Uncle Mo Picked Up One Category Scrap

The only category Into Mischief ceded sire supremacy was graded stakes victories. There, Uncle Mo nipped him 14-12. Tapit checked in with 11, Speightstown 10.

Authentic won five of those graded stakes. Along with the Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, he won the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes, the Grade 2 San Felipe and the Grade 3 Sham. Gamine captured three Grade 1s: the Acorn Stakes, the Test Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Juvenile filly Dayoutattheoffice took two more: the Grade 1 Frizette and the Grade 3 Schuylerville.

The breeding shed. The sales ring. The racetrack. The graded stakes races. Into Mischief’s budding role as sire of sires. Put all the elements together and you have a stallion who – barring anything unforeseen — should be North America’s dominant sire well into the 2020s.